Redifining Gender

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Andrew Rumbles talks to Feminine Lost author Jennifer Granger.

I wasn’t sure of what this book was going to be about. It looked dangerously like Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus or the clichéd 1960s tome reminding women to stay in the kitchen, Fascinating Womanhood.  Both are books that suggest we will thrive when we keep to our gender assigned roles. Not only was I reading this book to then share with you whether it’s worth your while to read it or not, but I had also agreed to an interview with its Melbourne based author. I was frightened it was going to be more of the same dross and that we would have nothing to talk about.

The basic premise as earlier stated in a my review on www.gayexpress.co.nz is that we have two sides to our natures. We have both masculine and feminine within regardless of our gender assigned body. And it is the mix of these two aspects of our selves that determines how we express ourselves into the external world. As men we must connect with  our feminine to be able to balance our protective natures with some nurturing. Over the past decades the world has produced women who operate predominantly from their masculine and many have lost connection with their feminine aspect and  their feminine energy source. Masculine/feminine can also be looked at as the tension between a tendency for discipline and action vs. a tendency for nurture, compassion and listening.

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In the hour I shared over coffee with Jennifer, it became clear that what is intensely personal is often actually universal. The book focuses on her story and many case studies from her transformational coaching business. Looking at my own relationships and those of people around me helped to clarify this theory of polarised energy.

In my case it would serve me well not to blunt my intuition. I need to listen to my internal wisdom as it inevitably arises from my depths often to simply be ignored by me and pushed back down again. If I can be receptive to my intuition and feelings I will begin to trust myself rather than listen to the wisdom of those around me. That process will also help me to balance my internal feminine with my masculine energies. Understanding who you are at the energy level, knowing we were energy before we were physical, can help work out whether we are providing our partners with the energy that will fit with their energy.

So where am I out of whack?  Do I need to provide or receive some nurturing?  Does my partner need me to step up and make decisions or do we work best if I leave that to him? At work am I surrounded by people who use the wrong reasons for doing something? Am I relating to the wrong people who make me override my own wisdom and positive drives?

 I found this way of thinking could be enormously helpful for my relationships not only with my partner but my family and friends. If I could ascertain my own imbalance, then I could take steps to bring myself back into balance. That would require quite a commitment on my part to be present to myself and my failings but the rewards in terms of my own growth would be worth the effort. If I could grow and shift then I would automatically be a better partner and friend. It would be less about my wants and ego and more about being a much bigger person all round.

Can we use old stereotypical blueprints for the new reality and make it work for who are we are now? Feminine Lost shows that we have to find a different balance because we are different people now. We are no longer tied to the stereotypical role playing of the 1950’s and 1960’s. We have a lot more balance within relationships now. The next step is to be able to integrate that balance in ourselves as individuals.

Who am I in my primary relationship with my Man?  We are both male. We have both lead businesses and made key decisions in our shared lives. We both nurture each other. I am not sure if I am a sensitive man or a little bit of Jennifer’s Pseudo Masculine Man, or I might be a hybrid of all three of her more feminine oriented men. This book has helped me see that I seek approval from others and take approval from my Man for granted. I take it as a given that he will nurture and support me.  Our lives work better when I cherish and support him as well. The game of life is still that of giving and receiving. Not one or the other. Once that occurs we tend to go out of balance.

A changed world has lead to a whole new style of relationships, requiring us to be dynamic within our relationships with others but most importantly with ourselves. If our relationships are organic then they have the ability to be more flexible and expansive. That can only be good for both partners.  Being conscious of your own internal movement and balance allows you to feel a deep security within yourself and when you have that security then you are able to be vulnerable to your partner. When the defensiveness disappears there can be true intimacy.

Many powerful men in our lives are what Jenifer defines as Pseudo Masculine.  These men are not truly strong simply because they have a natural leaning towards their feminine essence but unfortunately they deny their feminine and try and override it with a bombastic version of masculine. They may surround themselves with other men who won’t challenge them and who are happy to do the real work.  They may fear the compassion that lives in the heart of what she terms her Sensitive Man.

Bill Clinton was a Sensitive Man, epitomising the best of all of us. Ian Thorpe kept his sexuality a secret as presumably he felt it would threaten his masculinity or worse still, the masculinity of the men around him. Yet his ability to focus on goals and train hard proved he was operating as very masculine. He was denying the feminine in his nature and its ability to nurture himself. It appears as if owning his feminine self would have made everyone including himself uncomfortable. But finally he has arrived into full acceptance of who he is as a human being. More power to him.

We live in an over-masculinised world and that brings with it a host of issues. Too many wars, cruelty to the vulnerable lack of compassion for others including those of us who are viewed differently by the world. But if we can embrace the fact that we are both genders internally, then our external gender does not play the only limited role in our existence. We are far more complicated than the simplicity of our external gender.

 A message to women from Jennifer is that if you are a woman, embrace your feminine aspect. You don’t need to deny your birthright as a woman to be successful in the world. You will need your masculine side to complete your deadlines and go about your day to day business, but always remember to take the time to reconnect with your feminine energy. All our lives are better if we avoid game playing and manipulation. Powerful women like Helen Clark, Julia Gillard and Hilary Clinton are probably what Granger would call Andro Women.  Mostly they would be the virtuous version. If they become manipulative and self absorbed, then the villainous Andro has been born.

Feminine Lost  doesn’t have all the answers.  However it does suggest a theory that seems to explain many failed relationships. If this theory sounds like it could work for you, do grab a copy of the book and start a new journey to a life of balance and energetic attraction.

Feminine Lost is out now.

Article | Andrew Rumbles.

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